'We can't abandon any precautions': B.C. physician on staying the course amid Omicron wave

As the highly-transmissible Omicron variant continues to fuel COVID-19 cases in the province, a B.C. physician is warning people to stay the course when it comes to restrictions set out by health officials.

CTV Morning Live spoke with family physician Dr. Rhonda Low Tuesday, who said it's more important now than ever to continue "aggressive" public health measures.

"Right now with where we are with COVID in the community, we can’t give up," she said. "Hopefully with time COVID might still be present but moved to the background in our community as we have vaccinations and better treatments."

Low said Health Canada's approval of the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid, is also a step in the right direction.

"It's the first ever prescription at-home anti-COVID pill that can help fight this infection," she said.

"As we get better with vaccinations, treatments, and as more people get sick — with herd immunity — we can let things go a little bit more but right now we can't give up and we can't abandon any of those precautions."

Low said because Omicron is so easily transmissible, it can help with herd immunity.

"Experts like Dr. Fauci in the U.S. has predicted everyone will get some version of this coronavirus over time," she said.

"But before we get herd immunity, there's gonna be a fine balance between the number of people who are protected from either vaccination or prior infection, with new infections that are filling up our hospitals and threatening to overwhelm our health-care system."

Low said getting vaccinated remains the best form of protection against COVID, including the Omicron variant.

"We're really asking that folks get vaccinated," she said. "It's the safest way in our community to help speed us along a good path."